Obama Admin. Says They Totally Won’t Be Bullied By Russia -- Or Something
Too late for that
(Washington Post) Blindsided by the unexpected swiftness of Russia’s air attacks in Syria, the Obama administration scrambled Wednesday to retake the diplomatic and military initiatives, saying that it would not be bullied into supporting President Bashar al-Assad and that it was about to significantly expand its own Syrian air operations.
After spending much of the day together here behind closed doors, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, said in terse evening statements that U.S. and Russian military officials would meet, perhaps as soon as Thursday, to “deconflict” their operations in Syria.
Remember, early on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred to Assad as a “reformer”. Obama has had years to force Assad out. He established his “red lines”, then, when Assad crossed them, Obama retreated and attempted to shift control over to Congress. What, exactly, do they do now? Does this give Obama the out in escaping the Middle East, like he has seemed to want for a long time? Of course, this means a loss of influence in the ME for the U.S., with Iran and Russia increasing their influence.
What else is Obama to do? If he doesn’t support Assad (which, personally, I prefer he didn’t), does he throw his support behind the rebels, whom Russia is apparently bombing (instead of ISIS), which would bring US forces into conflict with Russia? Does he continue to (supposedly) bomb ISIS in Syria? Which could still bring US air forces into conflict with Russian forces? Does he wash his hands of the whole mess? Sadly, Obama has put the US in a position to be bullied by Putin/Russia. Whatever happened with that Crimea and Ukraine?
Fortunately, the Washington Post provides a little humor with the article, though it’s not apparent whether this is intentional or not, with a video of SecState John Kerry
Perhaps they should have started the video at a different spot. But, then, we all feel this facepalmy way about Obama’s foreign policies.